Chaz Bono Dancing with Stars

Falyn Katzman, Assistant Editor

There have been many celebrities on the hit TV show ”Dancing With the Stars” that have stirred up much controversy. The season 13 controversial contestant is Chaz Bono. Bono is the first transgendered star to hit the dance floor. He is paired with professional partner, Lacey Schwimmer. Before the season even began, many viewers have vowed to boycott the show. Should Chaz Bono have the opportunity to dance on this family oriented show?

Chaz Bono, born Chastity Bono, is best known for being Sonny and Cher’s only child. Never quite comfortable in her own skin, and questioning gender identity and sexual orientation from a young age, Chastity underwent female-to-male gender transition at age 39. Currently 42, Chaz is a transgender advocate.

“Dancing With the Stars” is a family program, but many viewers have voiced discomfort with their young children watching Bono. The organization “One Million Moms” believes that exposing children to the lifestyle of a transgender is dangerous. Some reasons given are the fear that a “tomboy” daughter will see Bono, question their own identity, and catch gender dysphoria. (Gender dysphoria is defined as a condition in which a person is uncertain of or anxious about his/her birth gender. It is not contagious.) They go on to state that since children look up to celebrities, Chaz Bono will glamorize a transgender lifestyle and make it more attractive.

There are always haters in the world, but Bono has also received an overwhelmingly large amount of support. Although Bono claims to not read any of the negative media, he is completely aware that people are upset that he’s on the show. During an interview, he said, “I’m just a regular guy. All these ideas that children shouldn’t watch me because I’m going to be confusing, all of this stuff, it’s crazy and for all of the kids and teens out there with gender dysphoria, I think it’s going to have a really positive impact. I know that if when I was growing up I would have seen someone like me on a show like this it would have made all the difference in the world in my life.”

I fully support Bono’s right to be on the show. He is a human being just like the other eleven contestants and has every right to dance on television. He’s living life, and it’s not anyone else’s place to pass judgment. Educating the public about unfamiliar lifestyles can lead to acceptance. After the first week of competition, Bono and Schwimmer received 17 out of 30 points, landing in the middle of the pack. After the first week’s result show, Bono has been saved to dance again the following week. What do you think, does Chaz Bono have the right to compete on “Dancing With the Stars?”